Educator, marriage and family therapist and founder of Doc N Jock, a company aimed at enhancing awareness of male issues, author Nadine Pierre-Louis is also the single mom of two boys. When it came time for The Talk about puberty, she realized she was woefully unprepared. She created Richard and the Boyz to help young males better understand what happens to them during puberty.
Organized as a lecture by “Dr. Dick” with his two “Boyz”—Preeb, 9, and Pube, 12—the topics cover the range of male puberty issues. From body hair and penis size to wet dreams and masturbation, the book addresses key issues and delves deeper into subjects such as breast lumps and spontaneous erections.
The young “boyz” interact with each other in a playground or at school, asking questions such as, “So, when I get a boner, why does it get hard?” Then the scene changes to the lecture hall, where their questions are addressed.
While the information is accurate and well expressed, it’s not always clear what age group is targeted. Slang such as “balls” and “cum,” are used frequently, and the doctor, his boys and the audience are illustrated as hat-wearing penises and testicles, cartoon drawings that might be appropriate for younger readers, ages 9 to 12. But the accompanying medical terminology occasionally seems above this level, as in: “Muscles in the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles and around the prostate gland tighten and push the semen into the urethra, and then it gushes out.”
That said, the explanations are largely accessible, and Pierre-Louis thoroughly covers issues that pubescent males need—and want—to know. Those willing to carefully read the book will be rewarded with answers to coming-of-age questions that concern them most. With its emphasis on dispelling myths and inaccuracies, the book can also be a useful guide for parents of young sons as they discuss puberty together.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.